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"The neighborhood has all gone t' hell"

Visiting the Big Apple? "Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is. He is usually too busy to stop, and if polite enough to stop, won't know. No New Yorker knows anything about New York." And another kind reminder: "Don't gape at women smoking cigarettes in restaurants. They are harmless and respectable, notwithstanding and nevertheless. They are also smart." Advice from Valentine’s City of New York: A Guide Book, published in 1920. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 29, 2014 - 51 comments

880,000

There are too many bicycles in Amsterdam.
posted by four panels on Jun 21, 2013 - 109 comments

Suburbia was our manufactured manifest destiny

The Top Ten Influences on the American Metropolis of the Past 50 Years [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi on Mar 13, 2013 - 126 comments

The trolleybus era

More than just pictures of electric Brill, Flyer and Pullman buses, trolleybuses.net has some great old street-level shots of many cities in North America.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe on Mar 5, 2013 - 16 comments

Down but not out.

After Forbes magazine declared Dayton, OH, one of America's " fastest dying cities," a group of local media makers created Reinvention Stories. The interactive film/multimedia experience rolls out this month in three acts.
posted by Miko on Mar 4, 2013 - 26 comments

Why We Abandoned the Public Realm, and Why We Need It Again

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Great Public Spaces
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 23, 2013 - 35 comments

Whenever there's trouble, they're there on the double.

"On a good day, the street maintenance team tasked by the New York City Department of Transportation with roadway repair might fill 4,000 potholes in eight hours. In an average week, they could resurface 100,000 square yards of road. After Hurricane Sandy, their crews removed 2,500 tons of debris. And every day, on a Tumblr called The Daily Pothole, New Yorkers can take a peek inside the workings of a city system few have likely thought about." Storyboard: A Day with New York City’s Pothole Repair Crew. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 2, 2013 - 8 comments

"Don't call it a comeback/I've been here for years."

Jay Walljasper covers Detroit: Not Your Father's Motor City, The Surprise Behind Detroit's Emerging Comeback, Young People’s Fascination With Motor City is Only Part of Detroit Revitalization, A Food Commons Grows In Detroit. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 27, 2012 - 31 comments

Ephemeral New York

Ephemeral New York 'chronicles an ever-changing, constantly reinvented city through photos, newspaper archives, and other scraps and artifacts that have been edged into New York’s collective remainder bin.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 11, 2012 - 5 comments

I Used to Love Her, But I Had to Flee Her: On Leaving New York

Cord Jefferson on loving and then leaving New York City.
posted by reenum on Jul 8, 2012 - 107 comments

The App of Life

"Thanks largely to smartphones, this is probably the best time ever to live in a packed city... Steve Jobs was a lifelong suburbanite, but it turns out he perfected the city." [google cache for those getting a log-in page.]
posted by nickrussell on Jun 17, 2012 - 87 comments

Urban Design

Candy Chang is a public installation artist, designer, urban planner and 2011 TED Senior Fellow based in New Orleans. Her Civic Center creates projects that try to "make cities more comfortable", and encourage residents to envision alternate urban realities: "I Wish This Was...." (site) / The NYC Street Vendor Guide / "Before I Die... In NOLA" / The Restroom Map Notepad / The Sexy Trees of the Marigny 2011 Calendar / The Neighbor Doorknob-Hanger / A Nice Place for a Tree and Post-It Notes for Neighbors. (Via). [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 2, 2011 - 7 comments

Energy=Mass of City squared

A Physicist Solves the City [more inside]
posted by Ndwright on Dec 24, 2010 - 37 comments

A Great Celebration and Conversation

Worldchanging Bright Green Future City - Alex Steffen sits down with the mayors of Portland and Seattle to talk about which is better the 'future city' and the confluence of urbanization, social justice and environmental change, not to mention political pushback amid high unemployment and cultural inertia.
posted by kliuless on Oct 25, 2010 - 10 comments

DC rolled out largest bike share program in US

DC just rolled out largest bike share program in US this week, Washington DC's and the Arlington (VA) County's bikesharing programs joined forces to create Capital Bikeshare with regional service of over 1,100 bikes and 114 stations throughout the area, with plans to include several other nearby Virginia and Maryland counties in the near future. [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Sep 23, 2010 - 81 comments

Kitsch stitch

Urban knitting, guerilla knitting, textile street art, yarn bombing. Whatever you choose to call it, this artform takes everyday objects of the city — such as trees, lampposts, street signs, bike racks — and wraps them up in colorful knit cozies. You'll find these wonderful oddities all over the world, from Manhattan to Sydney to Edinburgh to Philadelphia to Oakland to Chicago to Bisbane and back to Manhattan again. People have written books about it. It has inspired an Irish cellphone commercial. Metafilter's own ErikaB made a tree sweater that was featured on Metafilter and on the front cover of Seattle's The Stranger. Magda Sayeg's blog Knitta Please is a showcase for some of her delightful projects, including a Smart car, coffee shop sign, and crutches. (Also, previously.) [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 25, 2010 - 37 comments

Anywhere, TM

A new project called CitID is attempting to collect logos and/or typefaces representing every city in the world. So far, they have over 150 submissions, including Berlin, Kiev, Portland, Bogota, Tokyo, and Cape Town. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Jun 14, 2010 - 25 comments

Short urban exploration documentaries

Uneven Terrain is a series of short documentaries about urban exploration, about 10-15 minutes long each. There are six so far, about monumental ruins in New York, Centralia, the Pennsylvania town where an underground coalseam has been on fire since the 1960s, abandoned missile silos in the US and how they're being turned into homes, oil drilling in Los Angeles, the Teufelberg listening station and the abandoned bunkers under Tempelhof Airport in Berlin and pirate radio in London and on the old Redsand sea forts. Each short doc has a different presenter. All have accompanying photo galleries. [These are produced for the bootmaker Palladium, but it's pretty low-key]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 7, 2010 - 7 comments

City of Bikes

Car-free cities: an idea with legs
Car-free neighbourhoods are no unrealistic utopiathey exist all over Europe.
posted by kliuless on Nov 4, 2009 - 101 comments

We live in the city of dreams, We drive on the highway of fire

David Byrne has just published a new book about bicycles called Bicycle Diaries. A long time rider, Byrne muses on how the world looks and works from the vantage point of a cyclist. It's getting pretty good reviews. To launch the book, Byrne is touring the US and arranging public forums. Each event features a civic leader, an urban theorist, a bicycle advocate, and Byrne himself speaking about bikes in cities. Here’s a schedule of the upcoming events. He’s also designed some bike racks for his hometown of New York City. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Sep 27, 2009 - 28 comments

Picture London without Londoners

Abandoned London is a Flickr set by photographer IanVisits of London on Christmas morning when the city is (almost) denuded of people. Very disorienting if you've been to London (or any major city, really). I got this via William Gibson's blog and I'll let him describe it in his inimitable way: "Christmas, particularly in the early morning, has always seemed so much more liminal to me than New Year's eve. Spectral, deeply in-between [...] something about the way in which traffic, pedestrian and vehicular, controls one's depth of field, fragmenting and animating the experience."
posted by Kattullus on Dec 31, 2008 - 20 comments

Meet you at the Circl-Serv!

"The plans for Victory City have evolved over a period of 38 years, nurtured by the vision and dedication of Victory City's inventor, Orville Simpson II [no relation]. Mr. Simpson conceived of the general idea of Victory City in 1936, when he was only 13 years old. Afraid of being ridiculed, Mr. Simpson kept his ideas about designing and building the City of the Future to himself … a secret vision he held in his mind... It wasn't until 1960 — after he had embarked on a lucrative career in real estate investing and apartment building management — that Mr. Simpson decided to make his ideas about Victory City known to the general public."
posted by Miko on Dec 7, 2008 - 35 comments

Skyscrapers or Souks?

Two visions of the ideal city rise in the Persian Gulf: "Waterfront City will probably be where a lot of Middle Eastern investors will put their money—and where international architectural stars will build their putative landmarks—but if little Masdar develops successfully, it may hold much more important lessons for us all."
posted by Non Prosequitur on Apr 27, 2008 - 23 comments

Urban Agriculture...it's in our backyard

City Farmer is a Vancouver-based organization that's been promoting urban agriculture since 1978. If you dig around their sprawling website, you can find everything from this feel-good news story, to a series of links leading to a nice deep free book. Alternatively, their new blog has cool pictures.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jan 20, 2008 - 4 comments

"The rendering is a means to an end; the end is architecture."

Hugh Ferriss: Delineator of Gotham. Through his charcoal renderings of dramatic, imaginary skyscrapers in early 1900s New York City, Ferriss influenced the aesthetics of numerous architects with his bold compositions.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 6, 2008 - 12 comments

Defying Demographics

Defying Demographics: A look at University Park Campus School, a 7-12th grade school located in the poorest neighborhood in blue-collar Worcester, MA. Approximately 73% of students hover at or below the poverty line and 61% are minorities, yet over 80% go on to college and 99% pass the Massachusetts graduation exams. The partnership between Clark University and Worcester Public Schools has created an environment so successful that a number of cities are looking to emulate it. Have they discovered the key to closing the achievement gap?
posted by rollbiz on Nov 23, 2007 - 32 comments

It was Twentyfive years ago...

City in Flames Twenty Five years ago the City of Lynn Massachusetts experienced its second great fire. Devastating several downtown industrial buildings dating to the rise of the Shoe industry. All of which were undergoing redevelopment. While nowhere near as big as the Great Boston Fire of 1872, or the various Chelsea fires, the tragedy of the story is the empty wasteland that still sits after all these years. Today the Boston Globe dug up several articles from their pre Web vaults. The Lynn Museum has an exhibit, and the Lynn Library will have a slideshow.
posted by Gungho on Nov 28, 2006 - 9 comments

Crossroads game: running from a voodoo spirit

Running from a voodoo spirit. The urban game Crossroads is one of the featured games from last weeks Come Out and Play (yes, another FPP!) Posting because this game is still running this weekend.

Using GPS cell phones, players are trying to take over intersections in lower manhattan, like playing Go. But the Baron Samedi is in the grid with them, and one thing I know is that you don't want him to touch you... which is weird because he doesn't actually exist. You end up getting chased down Hudson street by something invisible. Feels like the future.

Part of an exhibition called the Good Life that closes this weekend.
posted by cloudscratcher on Sep 29, 2006 - 8 comments

Queen Street: Thematic Preview

Queen Street: Thematic Preview - "Queen Street is one of Toronto's oldest, longest, and most varied routes. It began in 1793 as a line on a map, running dead straight for ten miles, in modern measure some 16 kilometres. It is the spine, the high street, the main street of many distinct, and quite different, neighbourhoods. The street's fine grain is a cavalcade of urban variety, where the grain is broken by parks, institutions, industry. Queen Street is a promenade of public life, one you can stroll for 16 kilometres. I have, all of it, often camera in hand: I wanted others to see it, to know something of its life. And its gifts — meant to be shared. Here I'll share with you some of what I have seen along, and just off, Queen Street."
posted by heatherann on Aug 3, 2006 - 5 comments

Signs of life in the sidewalk cracks

The Urban Pantheist is the livejournal of Jef Taylor, where he works out articles for his two zines: The Urban Pantheist: Loving Nature while Living in the City and Urban Nature Walk. The LJ became a bit more as he embarked on a project called 365 Urban Species, where he'll post a current photo and short article about a different living thing found in the city each day.
posted by FunkyHelix on Jul 16, 2006 - 10 comments

Society stripped away

Naked in the Naked City. Artist Miru Kim takes curiously compelling nude photos of herself in gritty and deserted urban settings like sewers, subway stations, railroad tracks, tunnels, abandoned factories and asylums. (via)
posted by CunningLinguist on Jun 18, 2006 - 98 comments

Maybe a graboid got him?

Ed Bacon, friend to skaters, died Friday. He presided over a successful urban renewal campaign (a rarity), yet leaves behind a complex legacy in the city he loved. [bugmenot]
posted by deafmute on Oct 16, 2005 - 18 comments

Philly in 3-D

Is a "virtual" Philly even better than the real thing? Well, GeoSim Systems thinks so. Except for the aroma of freshly-grilled cheesesteak, at least. Their "Virtual Philadelphia" is the most detailed urban imaging system I've seen yet, and you can read about the monumental process of turning photographic images (taken from both aircraft and street-level) into this incredible rendering in a February 17 NY Times article (reg req). And - as expected - Google wants to get in on the action and do the same thing in San Francisco. via BB
posted by luriete on Jun 10, 2005 - 29 comments

It's the cities, stupid

The Urban Archipelago. "It's time to state something that we've felt for a long time but have been too polite to say out loud: Liberals, progressives, and Democrats do not live in a country that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico. We live on a chain of islands. We are citizens of the Urban Archipelago, the United Cities of America. We live on islands of sanity, liberalism, and compassion--New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and on and on. And we live on islands in red states too--a fact obscured by that state-by-state map."
posted by gentle on Nov 16, 2004 - 54 comments

Do you have a favourite city park?

Do you have a favourite city park? Nominate it for the Great Parks/Great Cities Awards, to be presented this July in New York. And read about Dufferin Grove Park in Toronto; neighbors came together to help the city manage the park when they found out that the Parks Department had allotted no money for its upkeep.
posted by tranquileye on Jun 12, 2001 - 19 comments

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